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June 12, 2005


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hey are you an aussie? because this movie was on tv the other night :)

Hey Skeptico!

Although a bit tangential to the current topic, I have to ask if you saw the recent Animal Planet show with Jane Goodall. The title was something like Talking with Animals. Whatever the title, one of hte claims on the show was that parrrots (specifically African Grey) could read the minds of their owners. No joke.

They even had a little bit where the owner would sit in a different room, 55 feet away! (please note I'm being sarcastic), and open envelopes and look at pictures on cards. The bird would then "read her mind" and talk about the picture on the card. Supposedly the bird had 27 hits out of 60 attempts (or something like that).

Have you heard about this? I can't get to the discovery channel's Web site from work (crazy firewall restrictions), but if you were to search Animal Planet with Jane Goodall, I'm sure you could find it. I'd love to read your debunking of it!

Thanks for the heads up – but I can’t really debunk it without having seen it. I’ll try to catch a later edition. It is being discussed on JREF right now.

Btw, Animal Planet website here.

Hi Skeptico,

thanks for the link to the discussion on JREF. Its exactly what I was hoping for. I hope you catch the edition at some point. As for the actual web site, its blocked by my hyper-sensitive company. Oh well.

I can't say for sure, but I'd guess that tarot cards have more 'occult' connotations, which mainstream US audiences would be less comfortable with (witchcraft! evil!) - whereas the 'scientific' look & feel of the zener cards, even though they were being used in a totally unscientific context (who says Americans don't do irony?) would be less threatening to the delicate psyche of the viewer.

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